The open-call exhibition will feature works by a variety of local artists, including photography, painting, woodworking, jewelry, three-dimensional art, quilts and fine art indigenous.
According to information from the FCCC, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Liver Cancer Awareness Month, two of the most common cancers in the world.
In a telephone interview Thursday, exhibit curator Jackie Jones-Bailey said it was the first such exhibit for the FCCC. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones-Bailey said, the nonprofit had kept a low profile, avoiding its usual crowded fundraisers.
She said that recently she and her fellow FCCC board members were discussing the organization’s next best moves.
“We thought, ‘What can we do to let people know that we’re still giving grants and trying to help people with cancer? to have an exhibit in a gallery honoring cancer patients, cancer survivors, people who have died of cancer, their families, their caregivers, just trying to do a wide range, because it’s impacted everyone in one way or another.
According to information provided by Jones-Bailey, the FCCC has also provided grants and donations for diagnostic and other medical equipment to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
FCCC was founded in 1995 and since then has distributed approximately $2 million in personal grants to qualified individuals living in Southeast Alaska. Grants cover travel, accommodation, medication and other medical equipment not covered by insurance.
She said artists were encouraged to submit pieces of all styles and mediums. Artists were also encouraged to share their stories of how cancer has affected their lives or to offer a dedication to someone who has been touched by cancer.
These stories should be printed and hung next to the artists’ works, Jones-Bailey said.
Artwork sold at the show will not be used for fundraising for the FCCC, Jones-Bailey said. The funds will go to the artists and KAAHC, as in a usual show. FCCC’s purpose in providing this exposure is to share information about the nonprofit organization and the people it serves, she explained.
Local artist Greg Lynch shared information about the woodworking art he submitted for the show during a phone interview Thursday.
He uses an approach called “segmentation,” he said, which involves joining multiple pieces of wood together to create a piece that is turned on a lathe after assembly, resulting in an intricately patterned end product.
One of the pieces Lynch said he brought into the exhibit is a sphere, created using more than 4,500 different pieces of wood – the African hardwood ‘wenge’, the African ‘padauk’ and l ‘maple.
Her second piece in the show is a vase about 18 inches tall. It features a sunburst pattern, hearts and diamonds, he said. He created the vase primarily with maple wood, Lynch said.
An artwork he created a while ago for the Alaska State Fair was constructed with about 7,500 pieces of wood, Lynch said.
He said he had been creating woodworking art for about three years. He racked up huge amounts of hours over those years, explaining that after he retired he would spend many eight-hour days working in his store.
“I learned a lot in those three years,” he said.
He has been a carpenter for many years, he added, creating cabinets and other everyday objects.
Lynch said he had just returned from a major exhibition in Chicago featuring woodworkers from across the United States displaying their segmented wood art. He said he learned a lot from his participation and was inspired to then try a whole new branch of the art of segmented woodworking.
Lynch said he was interested in participating in the exhibit because he is a long-time supporter of the FCCC.
He also offered to mentor anyone who might be interested in learning more about segmented woodworking. He has a Facebook page which can be found by searching for AK Woodworks 49. He said he was also looking forward to meeting attendees at the upcoming expo.
Bead artist Nancy Tietje also has two necklaces featured in the exhibit.
One has a subtle message of “Love me” woven into it, and she explained in a phone interview Thursday that the word is meant to symbolize a cancer patient’s need to “love themselves” at the course of his treatment.
The other necklace is beaded with infinity symbols and crystal heart pendants to symbolize that “everything comes from your heart, to heal you”.
Tietje said she has been beading jewelry for about 25 years. She was first intrigued by beading when her grandmother taught her how to bead and crochet when she was young, she said. When she moved to Ketchikan, she and a friend decided to learn how to create a variety of beading projects.
She rarely follows patterns, Tietje said, and likes to create her own.
Tietje said she was particularly interested in being on this show because of her own experiences with cancer — her mother died of cancer and her two sisters-in-law underwent cancer treatments.
“It’s just kind of a family thing,” she said.
She said she has long been a “strong supporter” of FCCC and was eager to help spread the organization’s message about its resources.
The KAAHC plans to host the opening of the exhibit from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Main Street Gallery, located at 330 Main Street. The exhibition is scheduled to run until October 28.